Spring has sprung! Yes! It’s time for longer and brighter days, warmer temperatures, the regrowth of plants and trees and the birth of many young animals. For young children there is a wealth of knowledge that they can learn from during this time. Learning about Spring links in with all four of the
Aistear themes . Children will have a chance to ‘explore and think’ by learning about what Spring is and how they can bring their own ideas about Spring to the classroom. The children should be encouraged to ‘communicate’ by sharing their experiences of Spring with their class. With Well Being children should develop a positive outlook on learning as they will have many learning opportunities on the theme of Spring and in terms of Identity and Belonging the children are encouraged to ‘develop a broad range of abilities and interests’. Learning about Spring and having plenty of various activities and curriculum plans available around the theme of Spring encourages those interests and abilities to develop. Spring covers a period of three months so you have plenty of time to cover various areas that will emerge from initial conversations within the classroom. To get you started below are some ideas that you may like to introduce into your classroom this Spring!
Spring Flowers in the Garden
Instead of learning about flowers from books and drawings why not take a different approach this Spring by creating your own garden within your service. Find an area inside or outside the classroom where you can plant seeds with the children and with the children’s nurturing of the plants you will all watch them bloom together. If you have good space outdoors you could create a flower bed and you could even extend it to include a vegetable patch. If you are short on space outdoors don’t let that put you off as you can grow flowers indoors also once you arrange to have your area near where the light comes in.
Spring Farm Animals: It’s a Small World!
With Spring bringing new baby farm animals what a great way to learn about the different animals that live on a farm. Many services will have children attending who live on a farm and with them can bring plenty of information from their own experiences. There will also be many services who have children who have never been on a farm so this will be a great opportunity for children to learn about the farm animals and their babies. One great way is to have a small farm world (or sensory table). This gives ample opportunity to create a fabulous scene using various textures and natural materials that the children can explore and add to as the weeks go on. Here are some things to include;
- Use plenty of tubs to create areas for the various animals.
- For the pigs you can make a mud bath using soil from your newly planted garden.
- For the ducks and ducklings fill a tub with water and for added effect add a couple of drops of blue food dye.
- Create pens using grass and straw for the cows, calves, ewes and lambs.
- Use some dried food such as lentils, oats or peas as their feed.
- Add in your farm animals and use small dolls as the farmers and vets.
Spring Flower Shop
Why not create a flower shop in your classroom where children can learn about various flowers as well as learning to count and learn about money. The shop can easily be set up using various props that you have in your classroom already. Try to use a mixture of fresh flowers, tissue flowers and silk flowers where possible. You can set up an art area where the children can use materials to make their own tissue flowers to add to the shop shelves. Have some aprons, wellies and name badges available so that the children can take turns playing different roles. If you have a local flower shop nearby they may be willing to donate some bits that they no longer need that you can add to your shop but mostly you should be able to use materials and props that you already have in your service. As always the main thing is to make it fun and engaging for the children!
Over the Spring period there are many festivities to celebrate, including Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Mothers Day and Easter. There are many curriculum activities covering these themes available on the Early Years Resource Factory. You can do a week free trial allowing you to log in and see what is available. Aside from many curriculum plans, you can also create a monthly newsletter and avail of many printables, records and notices for your service. If you wish to sign up you can do so here;